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Advocacy and Public Policy

ARL is the collective voice for research libraries and archives on public policy in the US and internationally. The Association leads on policy and legal issues that advance sustainable, equitable, and barrier-free access to information and culture while protecting core values of privacy and freedom of expression.

Key Accomplishments in 2018

Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week 2018 Highlights Balance in Copyright System

The fifth annual Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week took place February 26–March 2, growing to 153 participating organizations—as well as numerous individuals—celebrating the important and flexible doctrines of fair use and fair dealing worldwide. This year’s event was organized by ARL and participants included universities, libraries, library associations, and many other organizations. Sixty ARL member institutions contributed a wide range of resources this year.

Software Preservation Best Practices in Fair Use to Help Safeguard Cultural Record, Advance Research

The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Software Preservation, released in September, provides guidance on the legality of archiving legacy software to ensure continued access to digital files of all kinds and to illuminate the history of technology. The publication provides librarians, archivists, curators, and others who work to preserve software with a tool to guide their reasoning about when and how to employ fair use.

Two Landmark Laws Passed in United States: Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act, Geospatial Data Act

After years of advocacy by ARL and many others, the Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act was signed into law by President Trump on October 9. The Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled requires countries to ensure minimum copyright limitations and exceptions for the creation and distribution of accessible formats of works and cross-border sharing of these works. Additionally, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) oversaw the passage of the Geospatial Data Act of 2018, which will greatly enhance access by researchers, students, and the public to a vast array of geospatial data, thereby advancing learning and knowledge creation and promoting open and transparent government. Senators Hatch and Warner also led a bipartisan resolution to recognize November 15, 2018, as National GIS Day.

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